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About twofires

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  1. Why did I have to buy the silver-gold Marantz amp? 😭 Great price, GLWTS.
  2. I honestly have no idea what Moon sound like, but I have two integrated amps that go for around $2500, so I'll describe them briefly here so you can rule them in or out. Rotel RA-1592 - 200 wpc (headroom) - Reliable - Clean sound and high damping, suited to controlling speakers that sound a bit wooly when underpowered - Not bright (like everyone who hasn't actually owned one is likely to tell you) but not what I'd call relaxed, either. If I was being slightly unfair, I'd say it's... unromantic? NB: my Rotel is driving KEF stuff, so ymmv with Paradigm, I honestly don't know. Marantz PM-8006 - 70 wpc, but high current - No digital inputs - Has a bit of a quirk in how you power it on (basically, don't touch the input selector to wake it from standby). - The sound has an upper mid lower treble push (to my ears) that can add vibrancy with the right speakers, but sound wiry with the wrong ones. That said, when it's right, it has an energy more neutral amps lack. Audition is probably essential. I'd also add that maybe you want to investigate a high end Denon, as they might be a good match for the sound you're chasing.
  3. @evil c Absolutely. I work in a bicycle shop that focuses on repairs and servicing, and I have that conversation with customers all the time. That said, I'm the kind of person who thinks that recapping and reflowing is normal long term use expense, like replacing a wheelset when the rims wear out. Having said that, the amp has a particular sound none of my other stuff has, so it might yet be worth pursuing.
  4. Hi all, I have an old Denon PMA-320 stereo integrated (a 60w thing from 1989) that has the following issues: - one channel will take longer to fire up than the other by about 30s (assume this is solder?) - the phono stage is kaput (no signal) - it's almost as old as I am, and doubtless could do with a recap Now, I bought this amp for $50 as a temporary solution, so I'm not planning to throw my whole wallet at the job, but it's a charming little thing once it's up and running and I've grown quite fond of it. Hard rubbish collection has come around again this week, and I've decided to spare it that rainy fate. I'm in Melbourne, and it seems my options are CVE (close to me), JLS (specifically mention Denon as a brand they service, price for a recap mentioned here by another seems very reasonable), and potentially an SNAer or two (peace of mind?). Am I going to have an luck for $300 or less, and who would you recommend for that work?
  5. I imagine everything seems hilariously teensy on the pushie by comparison. 😂 On the mud guard thing, on my wet weather bike I run a full fender on the rear (SKS Bluemels) and leave the front one off - the slight benefit of the front guard isn't worth the toe overlap, nor the transportation issues mentioned by @blybo.
  6. That'll do the job! Just keep an eye on brake pad wear - I had another customer yesterday who had gone all the way through the pads and took a sizable chunk out of the backing plate. Those pads are super cheap (apparently Shimano have a factory that makes nothing else), so it's worth swapping them out whenever you suspect you might need to. Oh, and on the brakes, sometimes shops forget to bed the pads in for you. If in doubt, just find a safe stretch of road, get up to speed, then smoothly and evenly (and firmly) apply the brake until you're almost at a stop, and then release. Repeat 5 or 6 times, getting faster each time. Repeat for the other brake. You should find they'll start getting quite punchy. I just installed a set of those exact brakes on my wife's old mountain bike, and the front brake alone could pull me up from 35kph+ in under a car length.
  7. It's true that they don't stretch vs a chain - the cogs are where the wear happens. Over and under tensioning can both exacerbate that, although it's also true that over tensioning will also destroy bearings. The belts are VERY strong. Sometimes the trouble is the belt tensioning method on the bike isn't strong enough (or torqued enough) to hold the ideal tension, and it gives a bit, introducing slack. Some people leave it slack (bad), or, not realising there is a recommended tension spec, over do it when retensioning (also bad). Basically, my point isn't that Gates drive is bad, just that I've seen a few trashed Gates drivetrains from people who had unrealistic maintenance expectations, especially where cheaper IGHs were concerned. Belts are very tough, and where a chain would wear down a belt will just transfer those forces to the adjacent parts. The harder you ride a belt driven bike, the stronger the bike and components need to be. One mechanic I know once joked that the best bike for a belt drive is a Harley. 😄
  8. If you're really into the idea of an internally geared hub, and don't mind spending $2k on the hub alone to get something more robust, look into Rohloff hubs. Proper touring stuff. Not light, though.
  9. Looks to be a single speed. 🕵️‍♂️ FWIW, the best way to change gears with an internally geared hub is to stop pedaling, change, then start pedaling again. Sometimes even rocking the pedals back a hair helps. The idea is to allow the gear to disengage fully before switching to another. It's basically the opposite of how a conventional derailleur works (applying pressure when shifting is how you derail the chain to the next cog). For this reason an IGH is not great for maintaining cadence, but it's fantastic for changing gears at a standstill (e.g. for that situation where you pull up at a traffic light and realise you're still in a high gear). Country vs city riding.
  10. Ha. Yes, there are definitely many road bike iterations these days; crit, climbing, aero, endurance, gravel, cross, touring, audax, fondo, etc. Some of it is useful, some of it is just product in search of a market. The closest I've ever come to ride-and-forget is an over-built single speed (freewheeling, not fixed) - but really it's only viable for commutes under 300m of climbing. After that, I'd recommend something with a good groupset (105 and up if going Shimano, especially the new R7000 series as the front derailleur is much improved), brand name wheels (not in-house stuff), clearance for the sort of tyres you want to run, and nothing ever with BB30 (sorry Cannondale, but it's no good). My personal preference is for lightweight steel, but I accept that kind of bike is for a particular kind of person. 😋
  11. I don't ride one, but I do work at a shop that services a lot of internally geared hub bikes, and bikes with Gates belt drive. My advice is this; 1) Do not fall into the trap of believing that belt + IGH = maintenance free bike. It's definitely not. Alfine hubs require an oil bath every 6 months of use. Belts need the tension checked regularly (too much slack causes excess wear, runs the risk of the belt coming off). Eccentric bottom brackets can also seize if subjected to extreme weather without maintenance - especially when they're aluminum. 2) These are not bikes for people who go "full gas". Tiny planetary gears do not take well to changing gear under load, or to mashing in the highest gear. Shimano IGHs aren't like your old Sturmey hubs in that they're not hugely serviceable if small parts are damaged. 3) Not many shops are experienced in servicing these sorts of bikes, and fewer still carry stock of Gates parts. Basically, they run well when they're running well, but you need to take care of them, and you should expect longer lead times on parts and repairs.
  12. Interesting. I suppose that lends credence to my feeling that it might be a shortcoming of the Marantz amp architecture. Yeah, apart from that issue, it's a good, solid amp. Sounds beautiful, drives any bookshelf easily - it's just a big hunk of silver-gold stupid bereft of the kind of circuitry that makes my Rotel more reliable (if less elegant). The kind of circuitry that corrects issues rather than just sort of going 'eep'! I get the feeling that the amp is really one half of a PM8006/ND8006 whole and isn't meant to be purchased separately. I imagine the ND8006 (the brains of the operation) would wake the amp for you if the remote i/o is connected, removing the issue entirely. When I eventually get an ND8006 I'll spend some time with them together and then post a long review. There aren't many reviews of either around. This was actually pointed out to me recently by fellow SNAers in another thread, and I was able to source those exact attenuators via a WTB ad. They work exactly as described - they drop the volume by pretty much exactly 10db at the same point on the dial (effectively turning the volume down by about 2 hours). Excellent little devices, and part of the reason I'm less miserable about the amp now. $50 well spent! 😁 In the long term, I think that the ND8006 should fix that issue too - I suspect the fixed output will be tailored to match the amp, and even if it isn't, there's a variable output as well.
  13. Yeah - the ad I linked to has been deleted already. Gumtree seems to redirect to the closest item (note where you end up doesn't match the link posted). Either way, the amp was clearly snapped up quickly.
  14. An old Lux(man) valve amp for $100. Looks like it'd need work, but still... https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hurstbridge/stereo-systems/lux-valve-stereo-amplifier/1214313356
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